Lee Rollings sends message from America

HUNGER striker Lee Rollings has today sent a loving message from America to his despairing family and friends.On his 28th day without food he told The Evening Star in a frank and open interview about his protest and also asked us to tell his friends and family in Ipswich that he loved them all.

By Jessica Nicholls

HUNGER striker Lee Rollings has today sent a loving message from America to his despairing family and friends.

On his 28th day without food he told The Evening Star in a frank and open interview about his protest and also asked us to tell his friends and family in Ipswich that he loved them all.

As exclusively revealed in Monday's Evening Star, Mr Rollings is currently on hunger strike in a hospital in Georgia after being jailed for walking naked through an Atlanta park as part of a protest against America's planned war on Iraq.

His devastated parents Pauline and Roy of Belle Vue Road are desperately trying to persuade their son to voluntarily stop his fast and are living a daily nightmare trying to find out what can be done to help their son.

It is believed that Mr Rollings has a mental condition called Bi-polar disorder and he is currently on a psychiatric ward in Georgia Regional Hospital, Atlanta.

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Today, despite his problems, he spoke completely lucidly and said that he was intent on continuing with his cause.

At the moment he is not eating any food at all, the only concession he is making is to have water now and again.

He said: "I am feeling OK at the moment.

"I am resting quite a lot and not really using up a lot of energy or doing anything too active.

"It does get quite tempting though when they bring the meals round – they give me mine but I just pass it on to someone else."

In the last five years Mr Rollings has become obsessed with the church and he believes that it is God that is telling him to carry on with the protest and that it was God who told him to walk naked through the park in a bid to get arrested.

He said: "I know my mum gets upset but I am trying to keep as calm as possible.

"I have to be strong about this. I love my mother dearly but my choice is with God now.

"I do it for the love of God."

The 40-year-old said that he would carry on with the hunger strike for as long as God felt was necessary and that he was not afraid to die.

He said: "Ultimately I know where I am going.

"I might be thought of as a martyr, I hope not, but if I die I know where I am going.

"I will take it as far as God wants me to - he will give me a clear indication whether to call it off."

Mr Rollings said that God had told him, should the Americans go to war with Iraq the consequences will be far more severe than the attacks on the World Trade Centre on September 11 and that he is there to carry the message to them.

His parents are doing all they can to try and get their son home and have sent medical records from his doctors in Ipswich.

Mrs Rollings, 67, said: "It's got really out of control - he's adamant."

"They should have some indication of how to treat him but it really is in their hands. Lee's got to be well enough to come home, if he wants to come home. We feel very helpless."

She has given the Foreign Office permission to talk to the hospital on their behalf and to talk to the doctors at St Clement's hospital.

She said: "He thinks what he is doing is right - he thinks the worse is going to happen if America goes to war with Iraq - that's his mission.

"He's got it in his mind that he can make things better.

"As things go on, Lee's going to get worse - something has got to be done somewhere.

"What will stop him I don't know. I just don't know. Nobody wants war but may be he feels this will do something - but if he dies at the end of it is not going to make any difference."

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